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Malia Stevens

Malia Stevens

I was lucky to grow up in Hawaii with a pet loving family. When I adopted my first dog as an adult in NYC and she spent the first 2 days alternating between cowering from and barking at my husband, I quickly realized I needed professional help. Lola and I became clients of Who’s Walking Who for the next couple of years while I learned how to manage her anxiety and fear. Living in an urban environment requires a lot of our canine friends and Lola taught me that although she might not ever like strangers, she could ignore them (and scooters, skateboards and runners). She also taught me that she loved to work and together we learned basic, intermediate and advanced obedience, tricks and our favorite, agility. Training together gave us a solid foundation and level of communication- in fact I swear she can often read my mind!

After a couple of years of working with my own dog and reading any book on animal behavior and training I came across, I realized that this was meant to be more in my life then something between me and my personal dogs so in 2009 I started the Who’s Walking Who apprentice program. Being a trainer with Who’s Walking Who means caring for the whole dog and there is nothing I love more than giving a family the information and skills they need to enjoy a happy, healthy and long relationship with their dogs. There is nothing better than seeing the lightbulb go off when people realize the small steps they can take to give their dog a bigger and better daily life whether though nutrition, more exercise, more socialization or all of the above. 

In 2011, I started volunteering at Animal Care and Control, NYC’s open intake municipal shelter where the results of irresponsible pet ownership are seen daily. I work with local rescue groups who pull animals from ACC and support efforts to educate and provide resources for underserved areas of our city. In November 2014, I adopted my second dog from ACC. Leo is a 13 year old rat terrier mix who can out run his sister who is half his age and reminds her daily that she is not the boss of him! He has taught me that there is truly nothing like the love of a rescued senior pet and I know there will always be a grey muzzle in my family.

When I am not working with dogs, I am an event planner and feel very fortunate to do two things that I love. Having happy, healthy and confident animal companions that share our lives is one of life's great gifts and it is my privilege to help NYC dogs and their families achieve their goals.


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